Movie Review

'On the Rocks' has little to offer beyond the surface gloss

'Lost in Translation' director Sofia Coppola has teamed up with Bill Murray again — but this time for a bittersweet father-daughter comedy

08 November 2020 - 00:00
Rashida Jones and Bill Murray in 'On the Rocks'.
Rashida Jones and Bill Murray in 'On the Rocks'.
Image: Supplied

It's been 17 years since director Sofia Coppola teamed up with comic legend Bill Murray for the much acclaimed Lost in Translation. That film dealt with the awkward search for meaningful connections in the claustrophobic, itinerant spaces of the fast-paced modern world.

Now Coppola and Murray have reunited for a similar, if somewhat more mature, exploration of similar themes in On The Rocks, a bittersweet father-daughter comedy set in Manhattan's navel-gazing social media era.

Laura (Rashida Jones) is a reasonably successful writer struggling to meet the deadlines for her new book and balance the demands of raising two children in the SoHo apartment she shares with her tech company entrepreneur husband Dean (Marlon Wayans).

When Laura begins to suspect that her husband may be having an affair she's convinced by her eccentric father, Felix (Murray), to put aside her deadlines and join him on a hunt to discover the truth.

WATCH | 'On the Rocks' trailer.

There are plenty of relatable tensions between Laura and Felix that increase as the pair's investigation progresses. These throw up some difficult questions that Felix does his best to sidestep about his own behaviour towards women in general and Laura's mother in particular.

There are also some sly, dry jokes and Murray makes good use of his particular aging, but always engaging, charm.

Ultimately, though, the whole enterprise is too small and tunnel-visioned to have much to offer beyond its admittedly tightly executed 90 minutes.

• 'On the Rocks' in available on Apple TV.


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